My Ibanez JEM with floyd rose tremolo, this exact guitar: Ibanez JEM 7v wh, has a problem with the G string.

The open string sounds out more or less properly (though it tends to go 'harmonic', which seems like it's probably related to the problem). On the higher frets, it lacks sustain. It sounds dull and 'weird' (like it tries to produce two notes at once, not sure how else to explain this), and the sustain is almost zero.

I have tried different strings, to no avail (exact same result). The bridge/saddle and nut seem undamaged. The fret wire looks alright on all frets, including the ones most affected by this problem.

The other strings are all fine, and I don't see any difference in any of these aspects between them and the G string. I would expect the string to hit something it shouldn't, but after studying it carefully I don't see it hitting fret wire on other frets or anything. And again, there is no difference between the G string and the others that I can see.

What could cause problems like this one, if not any of these factors?

  • On which Frets and which strings do you have buzz and dull sound?? please give me exact information. – Vahid F Nov 29 '17 at 11:14

I would say it's most likely a problem with the bridge. The acoustic end point of the string, the slot or edge it lies on, can fit the string poorly (through wear or incompetent setup) in such a way that the string buzzes against it and loses energy, and the fault can be invisible- it's often a matter of tenths of a millimeter. You probably need a luthier to look at it.

  • Thanks for your suggestion. When you say 'incompetent setup', which aspects of the setup would I need to look at? – Asciiom Nov 21 '17 at 12:07
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    If it is that, and sounds like it could be, I'd swap a couple of saddles round - if it persists, then it will be something else. Try swapping 3rd and 6th string saddles - then you'll need to re-intone - if that's the word! – Tim Nov 21 '17 at 14:44
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    @JMoons- Tim has made a very good suggestion here: try swapping saddles around and see what happens. – Scott Wallace Nov 22 '17 at 11:15

It really sounds like it's fretting out, even if it looks like it's not.

With a guitar like this, the tolerances can be very, very fine. It's meant to be played fast, so the action is supposed to be quite low. That means it's a lot harder to get the action right at home without experience and proper tools. I would take it to a tech.

If you're hell bent on figuring it out for yourself, then see what making the G string action higher by raising the saddle does. If it helps, then you know something is off there. You can try lowering it gradually until it just starts to fret out and then lift it slightly again, but there may be other problems. I would start by making sure the overall neck geometry is good (relief and neck angle). Check for fret wear. IF you have the gauges for it, check the nut slot or string lock assembly for the right height/depth.

  • Once you fret above the open string, whatever the nut does is not party to the problem. And OP seems fairly happy with open sound. If the relief is out, it'll probably affect the other strings too. Action adjustment for 3rd string sounds a favourite. Oh, why doesn't every guitar have a zero fret?! – Tim Nov 21 '17 at 14:48

I'm assuming you figured out the problem by now, but for anyone that has this problem and you can't figure out the problem, when doing all the stuff mentioned by others, I would suggest trying a different Amplifier. This might be a good first move actually. I had A similar issue and the amp sound like octaves on multiple, but mostly just on the little thinnest strings, because that was when you could hear it the best. When the frequencies were deeper sounding on the guitar you couldn't hear that low octave frequency. I tried tons of things but could never figure it out.

So I say try another amp because the problem wound up actually being the output filter capacitor that had one of the legs that disconnected from the circuit board. In my amp, there were two caps and one wasn't working. I also had a lot of noise, but it might of be that the cap just went bad.

The funny thing is I actually took this amp to have someone who claimed to be an amp repair guy for a major amp company, prior to figuring it out myself. The guy never even bothered to take the amp apart. He wound up telling me that it just needed to preamp tubes to get rid of the high noise floor sound. The original problem I took it in to have looked at. He just replaced the tubes with really dull lifeless JJ tubes, that have very little high-end frequency output, in order to mask or hide the problem. I decided to finally try for the third time to get the amp apart to see If I could figure it out. I finally figured out how to get off the rubber handle caps that was preventing me from getting the handle off, and it didn't take me long to see that broken capacitor.


The answers here are on the right track I think: you can fret the string and use a thin piece of paper to determine if the string is hitting other frets closer to the bridge. If it is, you can raise the saddle a little and see if that helps.

Aside from that and the saddle fitment, look into the possibility that your tremolo springs are resonating with and/or dampening the note.

Resonating springs are common on tremolo equipped guitars (google "floyd rose springs resonating"), and I think the resonance can vary a lot based on spring tension.

After all these tests, if you still cannot figure it out, it may be time to take it in to get it looked at.


I have problems with the g string to various degrees on most of my sixty guitars. I know my way around setups and conquer most any problem that develops with my guitars. after 50 years of playing and modifying guitars I have recently noticed that the truss rod adjuster quite often touches the bottom of the fret board at the head end very close to the nut and the first fret where most of these g string dead spots occur. The guitars that i own are the worst when the truss rod adjuster tends to press tightly against the bottom of the fret board and i think i am now going to try to take a tiny file or mini chisel to shave the wood next to the adjuster in the hope that relieving pressure in this area will keep the truss rod from sucking the life out of the g string at the nut and first fret. I Hope this helps as this is a new idea I JUST CAME up WITH jAN 2020.

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